The top 10 dog and cat breeds that don’t shed
Over the last 60 years, pet allergies have become more common. That can leave animal lovers feeling stuck between dealing with itchy eyes and runny noses or living their lives without four-legged friends.
While there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat, there are several breeds of dogs and cats that don’t shed their coat as much as others. These breeds could make the perfect pet for an allergy sufferer – or someone who simply doesn’t want to spend their free time sweeping up pet hair.
The trendy cross breeds
Let’s start with the very popular low-shed or no-shed cross breeds:
These breeds are all part-poodle, which is why they’re considered low-shed or dogs that don’t shed, depending on the generation. First-generation breeds may shed a bit, but the risk of shedding decreases significantly from generation to generation.
The benefits of these mixed breeds don’t end at less shedding. Some studies show that adult mixed-breed dogs (and cats) are generally healthier and live longer than purebred breeds, with a lower risk of inherited genetic diseases.
Five more breeds of dogs that don’t shed
Big, small, short, tall – these five dog breeds have unique temperaments and traits, but they do have one thing in common: little to no shedding.
Gentle, cheerful and playful, these non-shedding powder puffs range from 4 to 9 kg (9 to 20 pounds) and love being a member of the family. This breed, however, can be a bit high maintenance in terms of grooming. Adult Bichons have a double coat, which means they have both soft hairs and coarser guard hairs. Though they don’t shed, these pups must be brushed at least once a day to prevent matting. Many owners have their hair professionally clipped.
Like the Bichon Frise, this breed does best when living as part of a family. Smart, loyal and loving, Miniature Schnauzers easily adapt to changes in weather conditions or climate. Quick to learn and obedient, a fenced yard and on-leash daily walks are recommended. Plan to groom their double coats every five to eight weeks. Males can weigh anywhere from 5 to 9 kg (11-20 pounds) while females are slightly smaller at 5 to 8 kg (11 –17 pounds).
This working breed is active, attentive and eager to please. Renowned in Italy as water-retrievers and truffle hunters, they need mental stimulation and physical exercise. These dogs do best with active, committed owners who will be rewarded with an affectionate companion. Small to medium sized, males weigh around 13 to 16 kg (29 to 35 pounds) and females around 11 to 14 kg (24 to 31 pounds). Their curly double coats, which are waterproof, look best when kept around 25 to 38 mm long.
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
This breed is intelligent, lively and affectionate. Owners need to give these dogs a great deal of time and attention and provide consistent rules and boundaries. Their coats tend to attract dirt and snow, so Wheatens need daily brushing and combing. These pups do well with well-behaved children and are medium sized, with males ranging from 16 to 18 kg (35 to 40 pounds) and females weighing in at 14 to 16 kg (31 to 35 pounds).
Portuguese Water Dog
Highly intelligent, Portuguese Water Dogs are obedient and eager to please their owners. Originally working dogs, they don’t tire easily and require lots of exercise each day. They also require a fair amount of grooming and need their curly coats brushed and combed on a weekly basis. Wonderful with children, loyal and affectionate Portuguese Water Dogs become so bonded with their families that they suffer when left alone for long periods. Males weigh from 19 to 27 kg (42 to 60 pounds), and females from 16 to 23 kg (35 to 51 pounds).
Five cat breeds that don’t shed
While there are no scientifically-proven hypoallergenic cats, these cat breeds are your best bet if you’re looking for feline friend that doesn’t shed much – or produce too much dander, which is worse for allergy sufferers than hair.
Though this breed may be shy around strangers, the Russian Blue is affectionate with the ones they love. Intelligent and playful, they love fetching and fit in perfectly with most households. These medium-sized cats weigh between 3.5 to 7 kg (8 to 15 pounds) and require minimal grooming despite their plush double coat.
Siberian cats fit in well with most families and are great with children. They also get along well with dogs and other cats, if properly introduced. They are naturally calm, quiet and easy-going cats who want to be near their owners. Medium to large in size, males can weigh up to 9 kg (20 pounds) and females up to 7 kg (15 pounds). While this breed will shed their luxurious triple coat as the weather gets warmer, they produce less dander, which is good news for allergy sufferers.
Energetic and outgoing, Sphynx cats love to show off for their loved ones. Very affectionate, they love children and get along with dogs and other cats, if introduced properly. Although not completely hairless, they lack enough hair to absorb body oils, so these cats need regular bathing and ear and nail cleaning to stay healthy. During the winter months, these hairless felines can find Canadian homes chilly. Some Sphynx owners invest in cat apparel to keep their exotic felines toasty. This breed typically weighs 3 to 5.5 kg (7 to 12 pounds).
This highly communicative breed has a short, fine coat that requires only weekly combing. Inquisitive, intelligent and affectionate, these friendly cats make great family pets. They also get along well with dogs and other cats, if introduced properly. The weight range for this type of cat is between 3 and 4.5 kg (7 to 10 pounds).
These striking cats are extremely active, athletic and curious – remaining energetic well into their senior years. One of the most intelligent cat breeds, chatty and outgoing Bengals enjoy learning tricks and playing fetch. Without enough stimuli, a bored Bengal can become destructive or depressed. They get along with dogs and other cats, if introduced at an early age. Bengals make good family pets, but care must be given around toddlers, as they are larger and more powerful than the average house cat. Males can weigh up to 7 kg (15 pounds) and females up to 5.5 kg (12 pounds). Their close-lying coat is luxuriously soft and requires little grooming.
Just because you suffer from allergies (or would rather not spend every free moment trying to rid your home of pet hair) doesn’t mean you have to give up the possibility of a pet. You just have to find the right fit for you and your family.
Note: although some breeds are lower in allergens, your allergies may still be triggered. It’s important to test out your allergies around your chosen breed – before bringing that adorable puppy or kitten home.